Now for the bad news: trouble is, he landed them in Tennessee. Beretta USA announced a new $45 million manufacturing and R&D facility for Gallatin, Tennessee. All of the jobs are in preference to expansion in Beretta’s HQ in Accokeek, Maryland; some of them may replace Maryland workers, especially as R&D shifts from the hostile state, where Beretta’s products, and its workers, are unwelcome.
Of course, Beretta gets other benefits as well. A harder-working work force, lower taxes and regulation, and lower energy costs will keep the Italian company, which has produced guns since 1526, competitive in the US market. But the biggest single reason was that the politicians of Maryland were hostile to their business, executives, and employees; and Tennessee has rolled out the welcome mat.
For much of the past year, Beretta has been scouting for locations for a manufacturing facility after the state of Maryland passed stricter gun legislation, company officials said. The family-owned, Italian company had expressed frustration about the new laws and said it might be looking for a new home for a factory currently located in Accokeek, Maryland.
Jeff Reh, general counsel for Beretta, said the company was looking a state that supported Second Amendment rights,and had other key attributes, including a competitive tax environment, good quality of life and was focused on corporate recruitment.
“From the moment when we started to consider a location outside of the State of Maryland for our manufacturing expansion, Governor Haslam and his economic development team did an excellent job demonstrating the benefits of doing business in Tennessee,” said Franco Gussalli Beretta, executive vice-president and a director of Beretta U.S.A. Corp. “We are convinced we could find no better place than Tennessee to establish our new manufacturing enterprise.”
Mr Beretta is one of the family members still involved in the ownership and management of the venerable company, who are the fifteenth and sixteenth generation of family owner/managers.
Of course, the $45 million in construction costs also won’t be wasted on presumably anti-gun Maryland contractors and workers, but spent instead on their more gun-friendly mountain cousins. They should all drop Mr O’Malley a thank-you note.
O’Malley told the press last year that Beretta was bluffing. “Berettas don’t bluff,” General Counsel Jeff Reh replied at the time.
The Nashville Tennesseean notes that Remington, also besieged by politicians in its home state, looked at Nashville-area locations last year before shortlisting sites in other states, but that Beretta is the first out-of-state gun company to relocate some operations to Tennessee. (Barrett Firearms Manufacturing of Murfreesboro is home-grown).
(thanks to The GunWire).
John Richardson at No Lawyers has excerpts and links to Jeff Reh’s speech, and reminds us that Beretta downchecked West Virginia because of their anti-gun Senator, who pretends to like gun folks every six years, Joe Manchin. John also has a roundup with lots more links to political and other reaction. Martin O’Malley’s is that the grapes were probably sour anyway.
In other Beretta news, they’ve updated the version of the ARX 160 they provide the Italian Army.